Blessings Tree

Like most people, I want to teach my kids that Christmas isn't all about the presents.  So I decided to do a blessings tree.  I made a tree shape out of scrapbook paper and added ornaments that say, "The best gifts aren't wrapped."  (Of course, older kids could make this themselves.)
Then I added some "gifts". 
We started by reading The Littlest Angel.  I love this book.  It's about a little boy angel who just can't seem to get anything right.  His halo keeps slipping, he sings off-key, he can't even fly!  When it's time for everyone to give a present to the newborn baby Jesus, the Littlest Angel doesn't know what he can possibly give.  He can't sing a tune, he can't write a prayer, he has no shining gifts to give.  Finally, he decides on his most valued possession.  It's a rough, ugly box full of things that the little boy treasured on Earth like a sky-blue egg shell, two white stones from a muddy river bank, and a worn collar from a much loved dog.  When it comes time to open the gifts, the Littlest Angel becomes terrified and ashamed that he has given these things.  Then God's voice tells him that of all the gifts, the Littlest Angel's pleases him most of all.  That small dirty box becomes the star of Bethlehem.

This book is a little long for my 2 and 3 year old, but Drew was fascinated with the pictures and asked lots of questions.  I think it was easy for him to identify with the main character. ;) I love the message in this book and I think it's so good for little ones to hear.

After we finished reading, I showed them the tree I made and tried to explain what it means that the best gifts aren't wrapped.  We talked about how many things we have to be thankful for at Christmas and all through the year.  I asked them what kinds of things we can be thankful for and Drew said, "Snow blowers" (he meant snow globes - he loves those things) and "Drew".  Lainey said, "Christmas tree".  I think this was all a little over their heads but I figure it's better to start earlier rather than later.  I wrote those things on the gifts under the tree and told them I was adding, "Jesus", "hugs", and "Lainey".
Thank you for joining me for day 2 of our 12 Days of Christmas, where Jackie from Ready. Set. Read! and I will be sharing a favorite Christmas book and activity each day.  Head on over there and see what she's got planned for us today!  If you missed Day 1, she had an adorable (and easy!) Christmas tree puzzle for preschoolers and a very fitting book to get things started!

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24 comments:

  1. SO sweet! I am going to try make one today for our fridge. Adding it to our pinterest collection too!

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  2. This is awesome! My oldest (2 yo) is named Drew too! Can't wait to make one!

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  3. So pretty! Would LOVE it if you would link this up at my turquoise lovin' party going on right now!! (and red during the holidays!) http://www.sweetlittlegals.com/2011/11/turquoise-lovin-15.html

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  4. Love it! This will replace our Thankful (fall) Tree.

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  5. Oh my this is awesome! Great job. I'd love for you to come share this in my Holiday Tips, Crafts & Recipes http://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com/2008/12/suzies-holidaze-fudge-ive-been-making.html

    It is awesome! Susie

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  6. Such a cute idea! I also wanted to let you know that I picked you to receive a blog award. You can check it out here: http://mommyknowslife.blogspot.com/2011/11/versatile-blogger-award-goes-to-me.html.

    Blessings,
    Breena
    mommyknowslife.blogspot.com

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  7. How nice! Thanks for linking to Things I've Done Thursday!

    Melanie
    Sew Rugged @ bear rabbit bear
    bearrabbitbear.blogspot.com

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  8. Love seeing how this project progresses. So glad that you came back to Pin'Inpiration Thursday today.

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  9. So creative, and so very cute! Would love for you to link up at Find Your Craft Friday! :)

    Emily @ BabyBerry
    http://weinzapfelbabyberry.blogspot.com/

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  10. That is so cute! It adds such color and festive-ness. :) Thank you so much for linking up!

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  11. I love this idea!! We made a "thankful tree" during the month of November. I love the carry over here, a great reminder that we need to be thankful all year round, not just at Thanksgiving!!

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  12. Thank you for the inspiration! That's a wonderful idea! My husband and I have been trying to teach our 4 year old what Christmas is really about. We unfortunately our family doesn't share the same view on Christmas so it's a battle being her parents teaching her one thing and all of her aunts and uncles showing her something completely different.

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  13. What a wonderful activity and craft!! I would love it if you would share it at my sharing party. http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/2011/12/sharing-saturday-8.html

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  14. I love this! So glad you linked up!

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  15. you know i think you're awesome! this is an important thing to focus on during the Christmas season. the commericialization and materialism that surrounds this sacred season is out of control. thanks for linking up last week! this will be featured at tuesday's tip-toe party!

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  16. What a great idea! It really carries on from Thanksgiving! Thanks for showing off!

    Carlee
    www.ladybirdln.com

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  17. That is a wonderful idea. Thanks for the inspiration. Stopping by from Shine on Friday. I hope you have a great week.

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  18. Love this idea! I would love for you to link up on my new linky party, Monday Myriad Linky Party
    Also, do you button swap? katieoallred@gmail.com

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  19. What a beautiful idea! Thanks for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday. Just wanted to let you know that you're being featured at this week's party!

    -Trish @ Mom On Timeout
    http://www.MomOnTimeout.com

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  20. Aw I love this! What a wonderful idea! Would you please share this with our readers for Fun Stuff Fridays? http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2011/12/fun-stuff-fridays-4-3-weeks-long-for.html

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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!